Los Angeles Business Journal

Strong Quarter for Big 5

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Favorable weather and a strong uptick in sales of guns and ammunition propelled Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. to a better-than-expected first quarter, with shares jumping more than 9 percent on Wednesday.

The El Segundo retailer on Tuesday reported net income of $7.5 million (34 cents a share), a 4,700 percent increase from the same period a year earlier The analyst consensus was for 21 cents a share.

Revenue for the chain, which operates 144 stores in 12 states, rose almost 13 percent to $246 million, better than the Wall Street consensus of $239 million. Same-store sales rose 11 percent.

“Firearms were certainly significant to our results,” Chief Executive Steven G. Miller said in a conference call with analysts. “But were we to exclude all firearms and ammunition sales from our business, we would have still comped up a very solid mid-single-digit for the quarter.”

Miller also credited good weather, improvements in customer traffic and average sale per customer.

Shares closed up on Wednesday $1.55, or 9 percent, to $18.35 on the Nasdaq.